Frederick Douglas Paper

This essay has a total of 771 words and 4 pages.


Frederick Douglas





Slavery & The Narrative of Frederick Douglass

In 1845, Frederick Douglass told his compelling story of life as slave and as a free man.
Through the words of somebody who endured slavery, we can only get a taste of what it was
like, for we will never truly know the feeling of the severe physical punishment and the
cruelty the slaves endured. Whippings, beatings and lynchings were all too common during
the era of slavery. However, not only were their bodies treated so harshly, but their
minds and souls were as well. These slaves went through a tremendous amount of mental and
physical abuse. The slaves were deprived of what the common man takes for granted. They
were forbidden to educate themselves. They were separated from their families. They were
not allowed to reason for themselves. They were in fact not treated as human beings, but
as objects with no feelings. Using Frederick Douglass's narrative I will discuss the
oppression and survival of slave life and show how the analysis of America‘s History
supported Dougalss’ interpretation of slave society.

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, is a first hand account of what slavery
was like. It depicts actual events in history based on one mans experience. That man is
Frederick Douglass. He was born into slavery and was a slave for much of his life. His
accounts of what happened to him show that slavery in the old south was an evil
institution that turned humans into animals and an institution that dehumanized people to
keep them ignorant.

African Americans suffered tremendously during the appalling years of slavery. They were
beaten, overworked, and mistreated by their oppressors. In many cases, slaves would
rather have died than to have been used in such inhumane ways. However, whites spread
myths that African Americans were happy to be enslaved. This has been proven false as
many former slaves, although forbidden, wrote books to give their accounts of slavery.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, depict many memorable incidents that led
to the opposition of slavery.

Frederick Douglass has woven many themes into his narrative, all being tied with a common
thread of man’s inhumanity towards man. As depicted in America’s History,
“white masters had virtually unlimited power, both legal and physical, over their
slaves” (p. 297). A slaves relationship with his or her master usually went no
further than the master thinking of that slave as no more than an animal that worked in
the field, and that is what slaves did. They worked in the fields like animals. Children
were uprooted from the arms of their mothers, "before the child has reached it’s
twelfth month, it’s mother is taken from it and sold to other slave holders"
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